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Bites were few at Erie tourney

Holy raining buckets, I wonder if there were any fish sightings on the streets of Sterling or Rock Falls this past week when the torrential rains came.

Man, that was something else, wasn't it? There must have been several feet of water in places.

Well, before the rains came, the Flats-N-Cats tournament in Erie went off without a hitch. Great weather that day; however, the fishing was very, very subpar.

Organizer Joe Morine sent off some 26 boats one-by-one at exactly 5 a.m. However, most were moving very cautiously due to lack of light and patches of thick fog covering the river basin.

Word travels fast on the river, and it was soon very apparent that fishing was awfully tough. What with the flatheads spawning and the river having had dropped some 15 inches in 5 days, the bite was just real slow. But hey, the day was just gorgeous, and fishing went on anyhow.

Come weigh-in time, which on this day was 11 a.m., it was pretty obvious how rough the fishing had been. If memory serves me correctly, only one team weighed in five fish for more than 20 pounds, with second place right around 18 pounds or so.

The biggest fish of the day was a 9.6-pound flathead, and just one of only three flathead weighed in overall. However, in usual catfisherman style, we had ourselves a really good time at a really well-run event.

Stay tuned, as there are more tournaments coming up here on the Rock, and we would love to see even more new faces at those.

Spending as much time on the river as I do, I sometimes notice "things." Some of these things are good, and some very bad.

I thought it only fair to send a shout-out to all those who enjoy the art of bank-pole fishing. Not only do I not see as many poles left unattended as I used to, but I rarely see an unmarked illegal pole either.  That's great for the fish, and great for the river.

Now, if you haven't been on the river yet this year and are planning on it, let me give you a couple words of advice.

The river is getting down to those levels that have given it a bad reputation for tearing up equipment. If you're careful, you will have no issues. However, get out of line, and there goes the lower unit.

So those two words of advice: "Pay Attention."

One moment of daydreaming could lead to a hefty bill at the old repair shop, so stay on top of things.

Until next week outdoor people, be safe, have fun, and Go Catfish!

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